First things first.
I just opened a NEW AUTHOR PAGE for Face book. Click here to find out the latest on what's going on in my writing world. Since I hope to have two books out before spring, I figured it was a good time to launch that.
Next: The deadline for voting on the title of my upcoming humor book is soon upon us! Get your vote in...over there on the right...by OCTOBER 31. Remember, YOU get to pick the title!
Now...this past week I got a very interesting phone call at work. It went like this:
Sarah: Thank you for calling Dunder Mifflin, this is Sarah. How can I make you smile today? (Yes, I am contractually obligated to answer the phone this way. Please...buy my books...)
Caller: Really....that's the way you answer the phone?
Sarah: Yes, how can I help you?
Caller: You sound like some 1-900 phone sex operator.
Sarah: Ummm....okay. How can I help you?
Caller: This is your brother.
(My brother has zero phone etiquette. Zero.)
Sarah: Oh, hi.
Brother: So on Friday (the next day) we're going to come to your house and celebrate Goober's birthday. (Goober is his youngest kid)
Sarah: Um, Hubby and I have to go to Peaches' game on Friday. Mom and Dad are coming too. I mean, you're welcome to come along...
Brother: No, Dad is going to the Brewers' game with me and Mom is bringing Goober and Grindle (His other younger child. Twinkle, his eldest, is off being a teen and we rarely see her.) and then we're coming to your house for cake and ice cream.
Sarah: (Remember, this call is being recorded for training purposes. Plus NBM is sitting in his office listening.) Um...okay. But I don't have a cake.
Brother: Look, Mom is bringing the cake. DO YOU HAVE A PLACE IN YOUR HOUSE WHERE WE CAN CUT IT?
Sarah: (Not really excited about getting yelled at for this.) Fine, yes. But it's going to be late and we have to help with concessions.
Brother: Just be at your house at 9:30 and we'll do this party.
And then he hung up.
My relationship with my family is complicated and I probably should get therapy, but I like to write heroines who have family issues (In Lies in Chance all of Shara's immediate family members are dead.) and that works for me.
I spent the rest of the afternoon sort of stewing about this. I've been trying to get my parents to see Peaches cheer at a football game all season. This was the last home game of the season. By the time Hubby picked me up from work, I was furious...and sick (Oh yeah, Elsie's bug finally hit me. Hard.) I continued to stew about this one the way home. By the time I got home I was nauseous (thanks to Elsie) and still furious. So I called Mom. I won't bore you with the details of that phone call. It's one of those calls that sometimes a grown up has to make to their relatives to let them know they are making you insane.
I've never actually made that call before.
The end result, however, was that yes, we were going to be having a small party for Goober after the football game at our house. And yes, Mom was going to be watching Goober and Grindle. "But they'll be so good and they'll sit for the whole game."
Friday I was on the couch sick. Down hard. Check the records...I barely looked at Facebook, and there was nothing here. Thusly I had no time or energy to "de-cat" the house like we usually do when Brother and Father, both of whom are allergic, show up. Usually our measures take the better part of a morning, and stave off major attacks for the length of a Packer game. But...I didn't do that this time around. (Hey, every relative I have tells me not to spend a lot of time cleaning. "I'm here to see you...not your house. I took them up on it this time.)
After the football game (where Grindle dropped my scarf under the bleachers, sat in my special stadium chair all night, trying very hard to break it, and Goober kept losing his "it's my birthday" crown over the railing so we had to go get it) we headed back to the house to set up, balloons and all, for the party.
The kids ran amok and I forgot to shut the cats in the office, which is where I put them when allergy sufferers come over.
As Mom and I set up the party (and really, how do I get sucked into this? I WAS SICK!) Brother stood in front of our TV and watched a recap of the Brewers game...a game he'd just seen in person.
And he started sneezing.
"LIGHT THE CANDLES NOW" he shouted. So we did.
"OPEN THOSE PRESENTS FASTER GOOBER!" He shouted.
"CUT THE CAKE. CUT IT NOW!" He shouted.
He then went outside. He'd been in the house nine minutes. Two weeks ago, he was able to stay for an entire Packer game.
We served him cake and ice cream outside.
"WE NEED TO GO NOW."
So, Mom and I helped pack up the kids, load them, the cake, the ice cream, and the presents, into the car.
Length of the party? 20 minutes.
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I like to think of it as a sort of immediate Karma. You don't plan a party at my house, yell at me on the phone at work, insist we have the party even though I'm sick, do nothing to help with the party and expect that everything is going to go right...or that I'm NOT going to share the story with my readers!
And now, I must go...it's time to give my cats an extra treat!